Cynthia Lennon, Author, Cynthia Lennon, Read by, Julian Lennon, Foreword by , read by the author. Random House Audio $27.50 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7393-2432-5

Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon's oft-overlooked first wife, is so soft-spoken, her voice threatens to trail off at times. But Lennon's voice of experience taps a well of feeling no audio actor could truly access. From teenage love to Beatlemania to spiritual pursuits in India, Lennon successfully conveys the excitement and trauma of an intimate life with one of pop culture's most cherished figures. She also uncorks opinions on rival Yoko Ono, often in bitter tones. This straight-from-the-horse's-mouth narrative is lovingly introduced by Julian, Cynthia and John's only child, and should capture the imagination of even the most casual fan. It's disappointing that Random House decided on an abridgment since this is a never-before-heard take on a well-worn subject. The production is capped off with a brief, artificial-sounding author interview with wooden questions and Lennon's rehearsed answers. But fans of Lennon and the Beatles, as well as those interested in 1960s and 1970s popular culture, should find this a satisfying, albeit abbreviated, listen. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 17). (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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